Thinking

How to win and keep winning new business

Written by Jonathan Ross
07 Mar 2023

Life has been good for agencies… but now it’s getting tougher again. Are you truly ready to compete?

2021 and 2022 were good years for agencies. Generating new revenue wasn’t particularly difficult. However, affected by the economic uncertainty of a possible recession, winning new business and retaining existing key accounts is becoming harder again.

We believe you should be preparing now for what could be an economic downturn where opportunities will be fewer and competition greater.

Helping agencies drive more leads and win more business

We’ve found that many companies would benefit from a more organised and systematic approach to their business development efforts. Companies often lack an effective process and accountability to facilitate new business success and long term growth

 

A typical excuse for those who don’t make new business a priority is that “client work comes first.”

Tuning up your new business machine for 2023

We have identified eight factors in business development that deliver a high degree of success. They are:

1. Set goals. Determine the amount of new revenue you need to make a solid profit in 2023. While you’re at it, develop a projection for 2024 too. Include existing and new clients. Plan accordingly. Identify your current win rate and what it should be to justify the investment of resources. Ensure everyone shares the commitment to reach your goals.

2. Review your brand proposition. Is there a distinctive explanation for why your firm exists? What sets you apart from your competition? Leverage it in everything you do.

3. Analyse your current new business operation. Review all the elements from marketing to pitching. What’s working and what isn’t? Who’s in charge and who’s involved?

4. Expand your network. Everyone in the firm should be expected to connect to prospects and those who influence them. Make sure you have a process in place to leverage the all-important word-of-mouth. Target the categories and specific prospects you have as clients.

5. Develop a marketing plan. Accelerate the word-of-mouth with a comprehensive outreach plan to reach your targets. Encourage them to come to you. Create all the materials required to tell your story effectively

6. Organise and manage your leads. Turn prospects into leads and leads into clients. Create and carefully track a system of ongoing personalised outreach that involves your senior team.

7. Prepare for the pitch. Ensure you have the process, tools, training, and people to present your thinking in a compelling manner – both in person and virtually.

8. Initiate follow-up. Whether you win or lose, find out why. Add this learning to your knowledge. If you win, celebrate. If you lose, stay in touch with that prospect. Modify the pitch for another player in the category.

This is a proven prescription for winning. These eight factors will help you manage a robust business operation that ensures you’ll be ready for not only the rest of 2023 but also the years to come.

 

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